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Summer Fruit Pavlova
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This Australian dessert is said to have been created by a chef in Adelaide as a tribute to the celebrated Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova after he had seen her dance. Pavlova has a meringue base to which a little cornflour and vinegar has been added to make the mixture more stable. The result is a meringue with a marshmallowy centre. Once cooked, the base is topped with summer fruits and double cream.
The pavlova can be cooked up to a week in advance. To store, wrap in foil or place in a large airtight container.
Remove the eggs from the fridge an hour before using. Eggs at room temperature will whisk to a greater volume than cold ones.
Should a small speck of yolk or shell fall into the egg whites, remove with half an eggshell or a moist teaspoon.
The yolks are not needed for the pavlova, but can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week - do not exceed the use-by date. They will also keep in the freezer for up to a month.
Do not be tempted to use greaseproof paper or foil in place of baking parchment as these will stick.
Cooling the pavlova slowly in the residual heat of the oven is essential to achieve the right texture, so don't rush this stage.
Fold 3 tbsp lemon curd into the cream before topping the pavlova.
Fold 50g grated plain chocolate and 1 tbsp sifted cocoa into the pavlova mixture before baking.
Use a 250g tub mascarpone, sweetened with 1 tbsp caster sugar, in place of the cream.
Replace the strawberries and raspberries with 3 sliced peaches and drizzle with Andre Guepratte coulis, which you will find in the chiller cabinet alongside the creams.
Waitrose Select Farm Cream is produced in southern England. It is the result of an exclusive partnership with the highest quality dairy farms. These farms maintain exemplary standards of animal welfare and assure the best in quality, traceability and taste.
Large baking sheet
Non-stick baking parchment
23cm diameter, round cake tin or plate
Large bowl, medium bowl and 2 small bowls
Teaspoon and tablespoon
Electric or balloon whisk
Food processor or blender
Fish slice or wide spatula
This recipe was first published in June 2003.